Martino Comelli Awarded Egon Matzner Prize for Socioeconomics

Martino Comelli, PhD student in CEU’s Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations, was honored by the Department of Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy at Technical University in Vienna (TU Wien) with the Egon Matzner Prize 2021 for his paper "The impact of welfare on household debt" published earlier this year in Sociological Spectrum.

The article aims to advance the theoretical understanding of how welfare affects household needs and willingness to take on debt across OECD countries. It supports the theory that a welfare state that is generous toward the youth facilitates the possibility for people to plan ahead in life and, by stabilizing financial expectations, makes people less risk averse. The paper additionally asserts that higher debt ratios are more common in Northern countries as social protection is more extensive; while in continental countries, where welfare benefits are narrower and tend to target the already employed and the elderly, people are more risk-averse toward debt.

The Egon Matzner Prize for Socioeconomics is awarded in memory of the long-time chair holder, Professor Egon Matzner, to young scientists for publications and outstanding academic theses in the areas of socioeconomics, heterodox economics, evolutionary economics, institutional economics, finance and fiscal federalism, and infrastructure economics and policy.

The annual prize was awarded for the first time in 2012 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of IFIP. Read here to learn more about the award and previous winners.